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Portugal’s national day Dia de Camões celebrated on June 10th

Portuguese people celebrate their National Day on the 10th of June in remembrance of gaining independence from Spain in 1640. Also known as Dia de Camões, this Portugal Day takes its name after the death of a Portugal’s national poet Luís Vaz de Camões’ in 1580.

Camões was among the most respected literary icons in Portugal. His best work was the Os Lusíadas’ poem, a symbol of literature and influence, which celebrates the country’s history and achievement during the Portuguese explorations in the 16th century. Portugal Day is commemorated on the day he passed away as his birth is unknown.

We spoke about the day with Edgar Peneda, Telecom Field Engineer, Rigger, Team Lead for KTL.

Tell us about Portugal Day.

Portugal day is one of the most important days in Portugal and is our National Day. This day celebrates Portuguese history and achievements and honours the country's customs, history and culture.

This day marks both the date that Portugal gained independence from Spain in 1640 and is the anniversary of Luís Vaz de Camões’ death in 1580. Camões is the writer of an epic poem “Lusiadas”, that is considered one of the finest and most important works in Portuguese literature known all around the world.

How will you celebrate this national holiday?

I will celebrate the day with family and friends eating and drinking traditional Portuguese food and wine.

Do you have a tradition about the day you would like to share?

I enjoy listening to and singing the national anthem of Portugal during the day.

What are the three things about Portugal that most people wouldn’t know?

1. Portugal owned half of the "New World".

In 1494, Portugal and Spain divided the world in two by signing the treaty of Tordesillas which essentially gave Portugal the eastern half of the "New World" (Brazil, Africa and Asia).

2. The biggest wave ever surfed was in Portugal.

In February 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed the highest recorded wave measuring a whopping 24 meters (80 feet) tall off the coast of Nazare in Portugal. A new world record.

3. Portugal and Britain are very old friends.

This is definitely one of the most amazing facts about Portugal. The Anglo-Portuguese alliance was signed in 1373 and is in force until this day. Both countries entered wars to defend the other, including the United Kingdom entering Iberian Peninsula War and Portugal entering World War I. Seems like the Portuguese and British have had each other’s back for a long time!

This special day is observed by Portuguese around the world as a day to get together and remember their roots. Activities include military parades, orchestras and fireworks accompanied by street parties, food, drinks, songs, and dancing. In the USA and UK, the Portuguese communities celebrate with art exhibitions, folk festivals, and sports.

Happy Portugal Day 2022 to all celebrating!

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